Slavki (Latin Sylviidae) belong to the family of the same name Warbler, this is the most numerous family among songbirds. This also includes mockingbirds, warblers, warblers and other species. They are very secretive, they try to stay in dense grass or thickets of bushes, they can rarely be seen on the ground. These are migratory birds; they return from wintering in late spring. They prefer abandoned gardens, parks, sparse forests, thickets near water bodies. The following types of warblers are found in Russia:
Currant or garden slava. This bird has a dark gray-olive back, light gray abdomen. The tail is straight, monochromatic, the legs are brown. The garden warbler weighs little, the bird has a small proportional head, painted brown. It differs from mockingbirds by the absence of light stripes above the eyes. Females are slightly lighter than males, but sexual dimorphism cannot be recognized at first glance. After molting, the color is always brighter, the plumage of young animals is monochromatic. For wintering, the garden warbler flies to Africa, it is common in many countries of Europe and Asia.
photo: Garden warbler or currant dump
Slavka gray (talker). The gray warbler is almost invisible in the dense foliage of trees. Males have an ash-gray head with a whitish throat, brown back and tail. White spots can be seen on the outer tail feathers. On the wings there are reddish stripes, the abdomen is white, with a barely noticeable pinkish tinge. Females have gray breast, brown head. The length of the bird's body is up to 14 centimeters. The species is very widespread throughout Europe, a special subspecies nests in the Caucasus and Crimea, Warblers winter in Africa. The bird was nicknamed "Talker" because of a short song, reminiscent of someone's dialect.
photo: Slavka-talker or gray warbler
Lesser Whitethroat (miller). In appearance it resembles a gray warbler. The length of the bird's body is 12-13 centimeters. She has a whitish throat, a gray head with dark cheeks. The back and wings are brownish, but light red edges can be seen on the flight feathers. Birds that nest in the Caucasus have a gray back and a longer beak. This is the smallest warbler known to naturalists. In females, the color is duller, gray colors prevail. Distributed throughout Europe, but the populations of this warbler are few.
photo: Lesser Accentor, she is a miller
Slavka-chernogolovka. A small bird, body length up to 15 centimeters. She has a brownish-gray back, a silvery-gray abdomen, a monochromatic straight tail. In males, the head is crowned with a black cap, in females and young animals, this cap is reddish-orange. In Central Asia and Transcaucasia, such a subspecies as the whitethroat warbler is widespread - it has a black spot not only on the crown of the head, but also on the cheeks, the tail is not straight, but rounded. Most often, the blackhead can be found in thickets near water bodies, in large gardens or at the edges of the forest.
Hawk Warbler. One of the largest subspecies, the body length of an individual reaches 19 cm.White warbler weighs up to 35 grams. The bird has a dark head with a silvery sheen, an olive-brown back. In the upper tail area there are two-colored black-and-white feathers, the color of which resembles scales. Whitish belly with a brown scaly pattern. This species of birds really resembles a hawk in some way, which is why it got its name.
photo: Hawk Warbler
Warbler. The head of this warbler is black, the back, upper tail and part of the wing feathers are gray. Light stripes can be seen on the dark brown flight feathers. Tail feathers with white tops. The abdomen of the bird is light, the sides are grayish, the legs are dark. The females have a silvery-black head, the young also resemble the female in color, but light edges can be seen on the wings.The size of the warbler resembles a sparrow and weighs about 25 grams.
These birds molt twice a year - in March and October. Slavki are distinguished by their characteristic singing, sometimes not only males, but also females sing - they skillfully imitate the sounds of other birds. Slavki are secretive, they are rarely shown to a person, they are active during the daytime. Nests are weaved mostly bowl-shaped: in some species they are skillfully intertwined, in others they are deliberately careless. There can be 4-8 eggs in one clutch; both parents incubate them in turn. After 2 weeks, the male and female are already feeding the chicks. Warblers have 1-2 clutches per year. Outside the breeding season, birds fly singly, less often in groups.
photo: Slavka with chicks
Keeping warblers at home
If you want to enjoy the song of warblers, you should keep them separate from other species of birds - they are very peaceful, they can be offended by more aggressive relatives. A rectangular cage or aviary is suitable for keeping. A caught warbler is often frightened, so at first the cage should be covered with a translucent cloth. Soon the bird will acclimatize and begin to sing. The cage should have perches, feeders, drinkers and bathing troughs, additional plants are planted in the aviary - then warblers can build a nest in them and lay eggs. During the nesting period, you need to feed the birds intensively: they need live food - ant eggs, small insects, mealworms. You can also give cereal mixtures, currants, elderberries, blueberries, raspberries, grated carrots. Once a month, the cage is disinfected; during the nesting period, you need to be especially careful, since the bird can get scared and break the clutch.
Place the cage away from drafts, the temperature in the room should be 18-20 degrees, these are heat-loving birds. Slavochki quickly get used to a person and even greet him with a song, they are unpretentious in content.
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Reasons for the disappearance of white-tailed pigalias
One of the reasons for the disappearance of white-tailed pigalias is the destruction of their nests. The lagoons where these birds live are not protected, so they are open to access. Another reason contributing to the reduction of the species is the destruction of the range.
People carry out irrigation work in the lagoons, as a result of which they become shallow and eventually disappear completely. If these types of work continue, then all lagoons will be destroyed.
Gradually, people are destroying the natural habitats of these birds.
In addition, there is a threat that the natural habitat of these birds will be destroyed and built up with tourist facilities, with the help of which the Romanian authorities plan to raise the economy.
How can you help white-tailed piggies
By destroying lagoons, people are depriving the white-tailed pigalias of their habitats.
A donation can be made to the Romanian Ornithological Society, which is an analogue of the Royal Society for the Protection of birds RSPB. This community, like the rest of Romania's environmental organizations, is in dire need of donations. Everyone has the opportunity to make a donation at CP-8, Oficiul 1, Tulcea 8800, Romania.
White-tailed piglet in flight.
Learn more about white-tailed piglets at the Menzbeer Ornithological Society, which researches and develops conservation programs for a variety of birds. If you have a desire to see white-tailed pigalias, then you should go to Kalmykia. In Kalmykia there is a reserve "black lands", which is home to a lot of birds, including white-tailed pigaliens.
For the preservation of pigalias, special programs have been created.
If you are fortunate enough to meet white-tailed pigaliens while traveling in Kalmykia, contact the Menzby Ornithological Society. This information is extremely important as birds can be found in new places. In addition to Kalmykia, white-tailed pigalias are found in the Astrakhan region.If you manage to find them in these areas, inform the ornithological society about it upon arrival home.
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Description of the bird
The only representative of the Krapivnikov family from the Sparrow-like family. The Latin name sounds menacing - Troglodytidae, which means "living in a cave." The species is very aptly nicknamed the nut, the root plant for the characteristic features of the external appearance.
What does it look like
Small European bird by weight is twice lighter than a sparrow - only 8-12 g. Length - 9-11 cm. Wingspan - 15-17 cm. The body is dense. The head is large, round. The thin elongated beak is slightly bent downward. A disproportionately short tail is often perky upturned. The plumage is soft, fluffy.
Males and females are of the same color - the top is rusty red, and the bottom is grayish brown. Above the eye there is an indistinct light stripe. On the body there are transverse dark streaks. The juveniles have light chestnut feathers on their heads with a dark border - the main difference from adult animals.
Of all the subspecies differing in morphological characteristics, the house wren is the closest species. The upper part of his body is brown in color, the lower one is of a nut shade.
Character and lifestyle
They live in a closed, isolated - one by one, or in pairs. The birds strictly adhere to the chosen terrain. Male individuals are territorial. With voiced, energetic, slightly crackling singing, they mark their boundaries, driving away unwanted competitors.
At night, they gather in small flocks, choosing secluded corners for a joint overnight: dense bushes, windbreaks, shallow earthen burrows. To protect themselves from the cold, they cuddle together, forming a small circle.
Birdies behave very secretively, avoid open spaces, therefore they fly little and reluctantly.
The main menu consists of insects, spiders, molluscs, crustaceans, invertebrates (caterpillars, beetles, earwigs, grasshoppers, snails, woodlice, millipedes). They look for food near the surface of the earth, checking mainly damp places: weeds, heaps of brushwood, upturned roots, fallen trunks.
In autumn, with a lack of animal food, birds feed on fruits of berries, plant seeds. Part of the population even accepts algae.
In winter they keep near non-freezing water bodies, catch tadpoles or small fish.
Widely distributed in Eurasia, Western Europe, North America, North Africa. They do not inhabit the European and Asian taiga, steppes and deserts of Russia, and in the south of the country they are found only in winter. In most of the range, the common species predominates.
They live in humid mountainous, coniferous, deciduous, mixed forests. Less often they inhabit treeless areas - plains or rocks. A favorite nesting place is nettle thickets. It is important to have dead wood and forest debris in order to hide from predators.
The family's homeland is the North American continent. Bird watchers believe that real wrens, together with their relatives, flew to Eurasia through the Bering Strait.
From wintering, males are the first to arrive. And, like real men, they build nests. Usually this is the first half of April - the end of May. During this period, the songs sound exceptionally louder, so the gentleman beckons the lady.
The structure looks like a spherical or elongated coconut. Building materials are thin spruce branches, green moss, dry blades of grass, leaves. As a rule, married couples form before the dwelling is completed. The corner you like is lined with down and feathers.
On the nesting site, from 5 to 12 buildings are erected, but only one of them will be chosen by the female.
Within two weeks, the young mother incubates a clutch of 4-7 white eggs with brownish-red spots, the average size of which is 16x12 mm. Both parents feed helpless cubs.
They bring food only to hatched chicks 70-180 times per day, and to 14-day-old ones - 300-500 times. Fledglings leave for 15-16 days. Puberty occurs in a year.
In the wild, wrens rarely have a lifespan of more than four years. They are hunted by birds of prey, martens, vipers. Jays destroy nests. With a suspicious noise, sensing danger, the birds hide, not making the slightest sound.
A ground enemy seen not far from the nesting site is pursued, driving away with a loud crash. If a threat is impending, they instantly fly away from the nest 5-6 meters to the nearest shelter.
Most passerines are sedentary species. They hibernate near ice-free rivers, springs, springs. They feed on invertebrates, roots of aquatic plants, which are sought out in shallow waters. Mostly old individuals remain, leading a solitary lifestyle.
Birds nesting in the northern regions migrate to more favorable winter conditions. Preparations for departure begin in the second half of August - early September. Representatives of the species concentrate outside the forest (lake shores, wastelands).
Wren in the Red Book
There is no critical decrease in the population, but vulnerable subspecies are included in the list of rare, endangered animals.
The main causes of extinction
The closest relatives of wrens are on the verge of extinction. This is due to environmental factors. The decline in species is directly related to destructive habitat conditions and a lack of nesting sites.
Current population situation
In general, the number of wrens does not fluctuate significantly. The following subspecies are listed in the Red Book:
- Antyoksky shrub - inhabits the South American dry forests,
- Cuban - lives only in swampy areas overgrown with sword-grass,
- Commander - Kamchatka Red Book bird inhabiting the Commanders,
- New Zealand - lives in New Zealand,
- Slender-billed - found only in mountain forests with limestone rocks,
- Large Short-billed - breeds in South America, primarily in Colombia.
According to the scientific classification, extinct species belong to the New Zealand genus - Shrub, as well as Stephen shrub.
Do I need to take measures to protect
Forestry sanitation reduces the number of nesting sites. Therefore, it is important to provide protective breeding grounds for animals.
Biologist-researcher Vladimir Borisovich Zimin proposes to prepare special plexuses of coniferous branches for nesting pairs.
Interesting facts about the bird
- A distinctive feature of the species is a strong voice. Singing reaches a volume of 90 dB. This is equivalent to a working vacuum cleaner or a moving tram. Multicolored trills last 5-6 seconds. Their flooded songs with a frequency of 4000-9000 Hz are heard at a distance of 500 meters.
- Sex cannot be determined by color. During the breeding season, females develop a hedgehog patch, and the cloacal protrusion increases. Males do not incubate brood. Also, the male differs from the female in habits. The males are more active, emit many sounds, while the females are more secretive, singing extremely rarely.
- Males are unusually polygamous. While their companion is evaporating offspring, they calmly look for a new pair for themselves.
- The image of this tiny bird adorned the British farthing, minted from 1937 to 1956.
- Ancient Celts, Welsh considered the bird sacred. Until now, she is revered in many European states: England, Ireland, Iceland. Wren is a frequent character in folklore and literary works.
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